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CASE TYPE: Breach of warranty CASE: Marvin Lumber and Cedar Co. v. PPG Industries, No. 3-94-545 COURT: D. Minn. JURY VERDICT: $135.8 million A Warroad, Minn., windows and doors manufacturer won a $135.8 million breach of warranty award against the company that provided it with a preservative to treat its products against wood rot. The Feb. 14 decision concluded an 8-year-old case that soured a once friendly relationship between Marvin Lumber and Cedar Co. and PPG Industries of Pittsburgh. The case began with 13 causes of action, all of which were thrown out until the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the breach of warranty claim. Marvin alleged that PPG encouraged it to switch from pentachlorophenol, the anti-rot additive it had used for more than 40 years, to PPG’s new product, Preservative In-Line Treatment, or PILT. Marvin maintained that PPG, in a series of meetings and correspondence as well as in its brochures, claimed PILT would preserve wood as long as or longer than pentachlorophenol, which lasts at least 20 years and often up to 40 or 50 years. Marvin made the product switch and used PILT to treat 4 million windows and 500,000 doors before noticing a dramatic spike in complaints of accelerated wood rot and was hit with a class action that it settled by providing customers substantial discounts on the replacement of doors and windows. In this case, the jury had to decide whether the meetings, conversations and brochures constituted a warranty, and whether PPG violated that warranty. The defense said that they had not offered Marvin a warranty and that the rot problems were caused by Marvin’s manufacturing and installation process rather than through the application of PILT. Plaintiff’s attorney Robert R. Weinstine plans to file a post-trial motion for interest, estimated at more than $30 million, and attorney fees. PPG said it would appeal the jury’s decision. Plaintiff’s attorneys: Robert R. Weinstine, Craig S. Krummen, Steven C. Tourek, Thomas H. Boyd, Donald J. Brown, Tiffany A. Blofield, Charles J. Schoenwetter and Matthew D. Spohn of Winthrop & Weinstine in Minneapolis. Defense attorneys: Michael T. Nilan, Brian N. Johnson, David H. Wright, William D. Hittler, Paula D. Osborn, Thomas M. Sipkins and Teresa J. Kimker of Halleland Lewis Nilan Sipkins & Johnson in Minneapolis.

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